Is it You? Or is Mercury Retrograde?

Tantric Yoga is a hot topic because some people think it is about sex, but it is actually more informative when you are trying to figure out when it is about you, and when it’s not.  This might be the secret to improving some of those pesky relationships that get in the way of our uber-yoginess.

Personal Freedom kinda sucks!

In pursuit of enlightenment, I recently read “The Four Agreements, A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom,” because for most of my life I regarded personal freedom as doing whatever the hell I wanted. For example, I do not “jump-switch” my legs in yoga, which is yoga-speak for “move your ass extremely fast.” Then one day I was with a world famous yogi who stood by my mat and said “jump-switch,” to which I extra-slow-mo moved my big ‘ole butt. Right? Because I do not move my ass extremely fast for anyone, and especially for a man that I am pretty sure I’m not going to sleep with.  Hell no. What’s the point?

Well, the point might be that jump-switching is not about me at all!  It might have been about the energy in the room, or getting out of my comfort zone.  “The Four Agreements” says it is never about you.  In fact, you are the last thing on the Universe’s mind.  And once you can get out of your head you can do your duty, or dharma.

On the other hand.....

Sometimes it is about you!  There are days when every single person is such a jerk that I cannot believe it.  I’m thinking, “Oh Mercury must be in retrograde,” which is yoga-speak for when it is not your fault.  But then it dawns on me, very slowly, that maybe it’s meeeeee!

For example, I once snapped at a yogi, who was always ending her class late right before mine, and she responded by saying, “I’m trying not to take it personally.”  Right?  Like who else kept her class late?  Please, take it personally. It was all about you (notice, not about me).

There was another time when I asked a student to take Tadasana, which most people know is to stand up, especially people who are trying to be teachers like this one.  And she wouldn’t. The “old” Michelle would have said, “Stand the f**k up, bitch.” But new and yoga-improved Michelle said, “Thank you, please stand up.”  Later this student complained that her problems were because everyone was so mean (I do think that was about me).

Tantric philosophy is the answer to all this and more.  In brief, it says that ‘you’ are the point of the Universe. Or maybe not. This is actually a very complex discussion which requires years of study and thousands of dollars invested in online webinars and yoga conferences held in places like Boulder, Colorado so I won’t bother to explain it anymore for free.  

In my pursuit of enlightenment, I hope to know when it really is about me, and Mercury is in retrograde.  I think this will be important to win friends and influence people, which God knows I need.  I also think it might improve my sex life.  However, at this moment, I’m pretty sure my problems are due to everyone else, and that’s a very Tantric understanding.

 Michelle Berman Marchildon is an award-winning journalist, a former corporate executive and a survivor of 50+ years of life. She’s the author of “Finding More on the Mat,” a yoga memoir, and a Columnist for Elephant Journal.  She teaches Anusara-Inspired and Power-Vinyasa Yoga in Denver, Co. She is NOT an Ambassador for Lululemon, and has been promised she will never be one.